Starting Pitcher: Tim Lincecum (Giants)
A couple of weeks ago, there was some debate over who would get the ball for the senior circuit to start the All-Star Game, but Tim Lincecum has just about sealed the assignment with three complete games in his last four starts, including a pair of shutouts.
Lincecum is 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA and stellar 132-to-28 K/BB ratio, putting him well on his way to a second Cy Young award at the age of 25.
Other Starting Pitchers:
Dan Haren (Diamondbacks)
Haren's 7-5 ledger is more a reflection of Arizona's atrocious offense than anything, because the 28 year-old has been absolutely dominant in the first half.
Haren leads the league in quality starts, and his 113-to-15 K/BB and 0.81 WHIP are nothing short of fantastic.
Matt Cain (Giants)
Though Lincecum gets the ball to start the game, Cain has matched him just about start-for-start in 2009, compiling nine victories and a 2.48 ERA.
Though his .143 batting average against with RISP is indicative of some luck, the 24 year-old Cain is a good bet to be a Cy Young contender at the end of the year.
Josh Johnson (Marlins)
Johnson has been defeated just once in 17 starts, and his 2.76 ERA and 1.13 WHIP are the reasons why. The 6'7" righty has come all the way back from Tommy John surgery, and has firmly established himself as one of the NL's top starters at the age of 25.
Johnny Cueto (Reds)
Edinson Volquez was Cincinnati's ace last season, but Cueto has stolen the spotlight this year, with a 2.69 ERA and 1.12 WHIP after 16 starts.
Were he not forced to toil in the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ballpark, Cueto might be on the mound to start the game.
Ted Lilly (Cubs)
The disappointing Cubs need a representative, and Ted Lilly is that guy.
The 33 year-old southpaw has anchored Lou Piniella's rotation, logging a solid 3.35 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 88-to-23 K/BB ratio. His 7-6 record is an indictment against the Northsiders' shoddy offense.
Yovani Gallardo (Brewers)
The 23 year-old native of Michoacan has been nothing short of outstanding in the first half, compiling a 2.75 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 114 strikeouts in 104.1 innings during which he has allowed only 74 hits.
Gallardo's comeback from a serious knee injury is the reason the Brewers have not missed CC Sabathia or Ben Sheets.
Francisco Rodriguez (Mets)
He has had his meltdowns—most notably walking Mariano Rivera with the bases loaded on national TV —but K-Rod has settled into his new digs well, making good on 21 of his 23 save opportunities.
That he's only allowed 21 hits and a single dinger in 37.2 innings makes up for Rodriguez's nonplussing 39-to-22 K/BB ratio.
Ryan Franklin (Cardinals)
The 36 year-old Franklin is having a career year as Tony La Russa's ninth-inning man, posting a minuscule 0.90 ERA and tidy 0.80 WHIP so far. He has made good on 18 of 19 save tries and allowed only 19 hits in 30 innings of work.
Heath Bell (Padres)
The Padres have 34 wins this season and Heath Bell has saved 22 of them. Stepping into the shoes of all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman is never easy, but Bell has done it wonderfully, with a 1.34 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 33.2 innings.
He has also been an absolute menace to right-handed hitters, strangling them to the tune of a .056 batting average against.
The Closer: Jonathan Broxton (Dodgers)
Striking out as many batters as you allow hits is impressive, striking out nearly four times as many batters as you allow hits is just plain ridiculous.
But that's exactly what the Dodgers' mammoth closer has done this year, with just 16 hits allowed and 62 strikeouts in 37.2 innings. Broxton has also converted 19 of 21 save chances and authored a perfect 6-0 record.
That's why he should get the ball if the NL has the lead at the end of the game.